Thursday, November 24, 2016

Shut Up And Say Thank You

It's Thanksgiving Day.  Time for pie.  Oh yeah, and turkey, dressing, cranberries, ham, gravy, assorted casseroles, and those yummy yeast rolls that melt the butter on them into a deliciousness unmatched in the history of the world.

Families gather together to share this holiday, with all their baggage.  We all carry around the bits and pieces of our childhood with us, and this does affect the way we view our families, especially when we are all crammed into one house, one room for hours.  Some conversation will be stilted, awkward, or downright uncomfortable. Other conversations will be comfortable, like a soft, fluffy sweater that warms you on a cold day.

Families are like that.

Maybe today, however, we should be thankful for the discomfort of our family.

Maybe today, instead of spending an hour arguing with Uncle Fred about his vote in the election, just shut up. Listen to what he has to say, even if you don't agree.  Tell him thank you for sharing his opinion.

Maybe today, when Aunt Vera asks you for the 458th time why you aren't married or why you don't you have any kids yet?  Shut your mouth on that snippy retort which will hurt her feelings. Say thank you, and tell her that you appreciate her concern.

Maybe today, while you're on the couch squeezed in between your cousin George and your Uncle Mac, who could both stand to lose a few pounds, shut your mouth on that irritated comment.  Get up and move if your arms have fallen asleep, but let them watch the game.

Families are tied together by more than DNA, and we should be grateful for that.  Those same people who make you uncomfortable or irritated are also the people who will stand by you, no matter what you look like, or who you bring home.  That's what family does, and we are going to need that in the coming days.  There's a lot of anger, hatred, and isolation out in the world right now, and we need to hold our loved ones closer than ever in the coming days.

Changing the world starts with a single person. A single person who is thankful for what they have in their lives, and who wants to share that gratitude.  What better place to start than now, in your own family?

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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